A large island, now called Candia, in the Mediterranean, originally people probably by a branch of the Caphtorim. It is celebrated by Homer for its hundred cities. Being surrounded by the sea, its inhabitants were excellent sailors, and its vessels visited all coasts. They were also famous for archery, which they practiced from their infancy. The Cretans were one of the three Grecian proverb cautioned-Kappadocia, Killicia, and Krete. In common speech, the expression, "to Cretanize," signified to tell lies; which helps to account for that detestable character which the apostle has given of the Cretans, that they were "always liars," brutes, and gormandizers, and Epimenides, and Cretan poet, described them, Titus 1:12,13.
Crete is famous as the birthplace of the legislator Minos; and in the Bible, for its connection with the voyage of Paul to Rome, Acts 27:1-44. The ship first made Salmone, the eastern promontory of the island, and took shelter at Fair Havens, a roadstead on the south side, east of cape Matala. After some time, and against Paulís warning, they set sail for Phenice, a more commodious harbor on the western part of the island; but were overtaken by a fierce wind from the east-north-east, which compelled them to lie to, and drifted them to Malta. Paul is supposed to have visited Crete afterwards, in connection with one of his visits to Asia Minor, 1 Timothy 1:3 Philemon 1:22. Here he established gospel institutions, and left Titus in the pastoral charge, Titus 1:5.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.